Coronavirus UK news LIVE: Quarantine deadline leaves thousands of Brits scrambling back to UK as STA Travel collapses

THE quarantine deadline has left thousands of Brits scrambling back to the UK in a bid to avoid the 14-day self-isolation.

Around 20,000 Brits are thought to be holidaying in Croatia currently, and if they didn't make it home before the 4am deadline this morning, the travellers will now face quarantine.

Meanwhile, STA Travel has become the latest travel firm to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which grew out of a student travel business and specialised in trips for young people, including gap years and volunteer projects, has ceased trading.

This comes as residents in Oldham have been told not to meet ANYONE outside their household from midnight on Saturday but will avoid a full lockdown.

After a rise in cases even more rules are going to come into place for the town, along with Blackburn and Parts of Pendle.

Austria and Trinidad have also joined Croatia on the quarantine list, with Brits now warned air bridges could be axed at any moment.

However, it's not all bad news as Portugal has been removed from the list in a relief for British holidaymakers.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • CORONAVIRUS WATCHLIST

    As Oldham braces itself for new social restrictions to avoid a local lockdown, let's look at the 'concern' hotspots in England.

  • OLDHAM UPDATE: LET'S AVOID A LOCAL LOCKDOWN

    Come midnight tonight, residents in Oldham won't be allowed to meet with anyone outside of their household.

    Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding said rather than having a full lockdown like in Leicester – where businesses would shut again – they would have more targeted measures to control the spread.

    Pubs, restaurants and offices can remain open, but extra restrictions on social interaction will come into play.

    People can still go to work and use childcare as normal, but won't be permitted extra social meet-ups from midnight on Saturday.

    Oldham now has a coronavirus rate of  103.1 per 100,000, with Blackburn and Pendle reaching 95.3 and 75.5.

  • BRITS 'MOURNING THE END' OF STA TRAVEL

    As news came in that travel company STA Travel ceased trading, Brits took to social media to thank the firm for the opportunities they provided.

    One user on Twitter said: “So many nice stories being shared about the life changing trips booked through STA Travel.

    “Booking gap year trips, RTW flights, volunteer programmes & epic tours was a rite of passage for so many travellers. Such a blow for the staff & the travel industry.”

    Another wrote: “Sad to hear that STA Travel have gone bust. I used them many many many times back in the day.

    “Thanks for making a lot of dreams come true.”

    A third said: “Had two of the most amazing adventures of my life with STA Travel – sad news today for the staff.”

  • DRIVING TEST WEBSITE CRASHES AS LEARNERS TRY TO BOOK TESTS

    The website where learner drivers can book their driving tests has crashed on the first day it reopened after the coronavirus outbreak.

    Hundreds of people who have tried to book a test on the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) this morning said they had difficulty getting on to the website.

    It comes after the government suspended driving tests on March 20 as the UK was gripped by the pandemic.

    Yesterday was the first time that learners could book a test after lockdown.

    Those who had their driving tests booked and then cancelled were allowed to rebook them from July 25 to help with the backlog.

    The theory tests resumed on July 4.

  • TRAVEL COMPANY CHAOS: WHAT'S NEXT?

    Globally, the travel and aviation industry is feeling the financial hit following months of lockdown and cancelled flights and holidays.

    It is expected that nearly three million British travel and ­tourism jobs are on the verge of disappearing — while the economy is close to losing £142billion from the travel sector.

    British Airways are slashing up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000-strong workforce due to a collapse in flight numbers.

  • CORONAVIRUS BROUGHT TRAVEL INDUSTRY 'TO A STANDSTILL'

    STA Travel blamed the coronavirus pandemic for their collapse, stating that it had “brought the travel industry to a standstill”.

    STA parent company, Switzerland-based Diethelm Keller Group, said the company has not been immune from the “global magnitude of the pandemic”.

    In a statement yesterday, it said: “Sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021.

    “As a consequence, STA Travel Holding AG, is filing for insolvency.”

  • STA TRAVEL FIRM CEASES TRADING

    STA Travel has become the latest travel firm to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The company, which grew out of a student travel business and specialised in trips for young people, including gap years and volunteer projects, has ceased trading.

    Thousands of customers are expected to begin chasing refunds after the company, which employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches and its central London HQ, collapsed last night.

    Worldwide, STA has almost 2,000 employees working in over 200 stores. It is understood some branches will remain open.

    Read the full story here.

  • GERMANY REPORTS SPIKE IN CASES

    The number of infections in Germany surpassed 2,000 in the previous 24 hours, a high not seen since the end of April, authorities said on Saturday.

    The RKI health institute said it registered 2,034 new cases and seven more deaths, taking the total fatalities to 9,267 and cases to 232,082.

  • UKRAINE RECORDS 2,328 CORONAVIRUS CASES

    Ukraine registered a record 2,328 cases of the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, officials said on Saturday.

    The data given by the national council of security and defence surpassed the previous single-day record of 2,134, reported on Thursday.

    Total cases are at 102,971, with 2,244 COVID-19 deaths.

    Infections have risen sharply recent days.

  • TEEN 'TERRIFIED' OF LOSING FREEDOM DURING LOCKDOWN HUNG HERSELF, INQUEST HEARD

    Emily Owen, 19, had been looking forward to a bright future when the pandemic began to unfold – leaving her struggling with "worry and distress".

    The teen feared the coronavirus lockdown would stop her from being able to work and go out.

    Norfolk coroner’s court in Norwich heard how her family had decided to self-isolate in the days before her death as one of her sisters had a cough.

    Tragically, the young woman was found by her mother and sister at their family home in Shouldham, Norfolk on March 18.

    Read the full story here.

  • TEST, TEST, TEST

    A senior medical expert has suggested the UK may need to increase testing from current levels of 150,000 per day to up to 10m a day.

    Prof Ara Darzi, a surgeon and co-director of Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, said regular home testing could be the UK’s “best hope” against the pandemic.

    He is overseeing a large study of home testing, involving more than 100,000 people, which has found self-testing at home to be practical and acceptable to the public.

    He acknowledged the UK’s “formidable” testing programme may need to be increased to “one million or even ten million a day”.

  • AUSTRALIA'S COVID INFECTIONS ARE STABILISING

    Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, reported 13 new coronavirus deaths in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, authorities said, while new infections in the hotspot state remained below 200 for the second consecutive day.

    Other than in Victoria, which accounts for over 80% of the country’s COVID-19 deaths due to a second wave of infections, Australia has large avoided the high casualty numbers of many nations with about 24,500 infections and 485 deaths.

    The state reported 182 new daily infections, down from over 700 a day two weeks ago.

  • SOUTH KOREA EXPANDS SOCIAL DISTANCING FOLLOWING COVID SURGE

    South Korea said on Saturday it will roll out tougher social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus nationwide as it battles a new outbreak of the disease spreading from the capital, Seoul.

    The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 315 new domestic coronavirus infections as of midnight Friday, the latest in a string of triple digit increases in new local cases.

    The latest numbers take the country’s tally to 17,002 with 309 deaths.

  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION HEAD SAYS PANDEMIC COULD BE OVER IN TWO YEARS

    Speaking in Geneva on Friday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Spanish flu of 1918 took two years to overcome.

    But he added that current advances in technology could enable the world to halt the virus “in a shorter time”.

    “Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” he said.

    “But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it,” he noted, stressing the importance of “national unity, global solidarity”.

  • BORIS'S SECRET CAMPING HOLIDAY LOCATION LEAKED

    Angry Boris Johnson had to pack up his tent and come home after his Scottish holiday location was leaked, The Sun can reveal.

    The PM had taken fiancée Carrie Symonds and new baby Wilfred for a break after a traumatic six months.

    It was his first getaway since the start of the coronavirus pandemic which saw him fall seriously ill with Covid-19 shortly before his son’s birth at the end of April.

    But the windswept location was leaked when photos of his secluded Highland cottage and tent were published.

    Bodyguards said it wasn’t safe for the family to stay on and it is understood they flew home on Thursday after just three days.

    A well placed source said: “They had been camping in the garden of the cottage but the security threat was too much.

    “The tent could be spotted by a sniper from too far away for them to stay after the location was published.”

    Pictures showed a teepee-style bell tent pitched near the holiday cottage and Mr Johnson looking casual in a bobble hat.

    The cosy three-bed cottage has a woodburning stove and understated furniture.

  • THOUSANDS OF STA TRAVEL CUSTOMERS EXPECTED TO CHASE REFUNDS

    Thousands of customers are expected to begin chasing refunds after STA Travel, which employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches and its central London HQ, collapsed today.

    It comes after it was yesterday reported that the future of the company was in doubt after it became the latest business to report problems resulting from the coronavirus lockdown.

    Worldwide, STA has almost 2,000 employees working in over 200 stores. It is understood some branches will remain open.

    The long-established agency – whose initials are derived from its original parent company, Student Travel Australia – specialised in cheap air fares and adventure tours for young people.

    STA Travel has an Atol licence to carry just over 34,000 passengers. This means holidays which have been booked together are protected. 

    The company blamed the coronavirus pandemic, stating that it had “brought the travel industry to a standstill”.

    STA parent company, Switzerland-based Diethelm Keller Group, said the company has not been immune from the “global magnitude of the pandemic”.

    The agency’s Swiss parent company, Diethelm Keller Group, filed for insolvency on Thursday saying it was hoped individual businesses could continue trading.

    In a statement yesterday, it said: “Sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021.

    “As a consequence, STA Travel Holding AG, is filing for insolvency.”

  • UK COULD BE HEADING TO A SECOND NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

    Concerning data shows the country's R rate could be above 1 – meaning Covid-19 cases are no longer falling.

    The UK may be forced back into another lockdown if it follows the same trajectory as Spain.

    Senior figures told The Telegraph that the government may now have to consider “more nationwide measures”, despite Boris Johnson previously saying this would not be the case.

    A source said: “If it doesn’t get contained it may be that some things that have been open, you need to think about whether measures need to be taken to reverse things.”

  • THE SUN AND VIRGIN RADIO POSTPONING THE BIG THANK YOU TOUR UNTIL 2021

    Virgin Radio and The Sun are postponing the Big Thank You Tour until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The three-night arena extravaganza was meant to begin on October 28, but organisers have chosen to postpone to ensure the “safety, wellbeing and enjoyment” of everyone involved.

    The Big Thank You Tour will still see 35,000 free tickets be given away to the UK's amazing key workers.

    It will also incorporate our annual Who Cares Wins Awards — paying tribute to NHS staff, ­volunteers and charities who have touched, and saved, lives.

    The shows are still set to take place at The SSE Arena, Wembley, Manchester Arena and The SSE Hydro Arena Glasgow in 2021.

    Virgin Radio Content Director Mike Cass said: “While the national lockdown has begun to ease, the comfort, safety and wellbeing of our Big Thank You Tour guests is paramount.

  • CROATIA AND AUSTRIA ON QUARANTINE LIST

    Croatia has become the latest country to be added to the UK quarantine list, along with Austria, after their coronavirus situation worsened.

    The government, using data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), will introduce travel restrictions on countries which report more than 20 new cases per 100,000 population.

  • AUDIENCES AT COMEDY GIGS TOLD NOT TO LAUGH TOO LOUDLY

    Audiences at reopened stand-up comedy have been urged not to laugh too loudly to stop Covid spreading.

    Warnings were dished out as big guffaws can project the airborne virus.

    Venues have been forced to issue the advice following government guidance.

    Britain’s struggling live comedy industry has just started hosting live indoor shows again.

    But numbers have been slashed for social distancing and customers asked to wear face masks.

    This week, comedy fans at The Grand in Clapham, South London, tried not to laugh at Al Murray.

    Boss Ally Wolf said: “We ask people to show appreciation in other ways, like clapping or stomping feet.”

    She added: “Aerosol transmission is the issue here, with raised voices, singing and laughing.

    “We are asking customers to be respectful of this and to show their appreciation of the acts in other ways, like clapping, stomping feet – or a really loud ‘Hmmmmmmmm’.

    “We want to bring shows back safely, but in a fun way, so making people aware of the guidelines, which they are all respectful about and want to stick to, but in a really fun way, is really important.”

  • JET2 RESTARTING FLIGHTS TO SPAIN AND SURROUNDING ISLANDS

    Jet2 has announced flights will be heading to Portugal, Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands from next weekend.

    The airline will also be resuming package holidays to Croatia from August 31.

    Currently, all travellers returning from Croatia, Spain and the Islands must self-isolate for 14 days.

    And the Foreign Office continues to advise against all non-essential travel to these destinations, meaning if travellers book now, they may not be covered by travel insurance.

  • HOLIDAYMAKERS ARRESTED FOR NOT WEARING MASKS ON SPANISH FLIGHT

    Two boozed up Brits were arrested in Spain for refusing to keep their face masks on during a flight.

    Passengers said that despite the pilot telling people to keep their masks on throughout the flight, the two men were making a nuisance of themselves and walking up and down the cabin without masks on.

    One passenger told 20minutos.es: “Some of the passengers asked to be separated or to be seated in another place.”

    The flight from Tenerife to Madrid was operated by Iberia who alerted the Civil Guard as they approached the Spanish capital.

    Police were waiting at the airport in Madrid where both men were escorted off.

  • US MILITARY VET SAYS AMERICANS ARE 'READY FOR A REVOLUTION' OVER MASK LEGISLATION

    A military veteran told a board of California county officials that peaceful citizens are becoming “concerned and revolutionary” due to certain coronavirus restrictions in place.

    Carlos Zapata was filmed speaking to officials in Shasta County, California earlier this month.

    Not wearing a mask himself, he told officials sitting off camera that he didn't blame them for wearing masks.

    “I would be hiding my face too if I was you for what you're doing,” Zapata said.

    The veteran criticized them for wearing masks and claimed they were being complicate.

    “Open the county, let our citizens do what they need to do,” he said. “Let owners and businesses do what they need to do to feed their families.

    “Take the masks off. Quit masking and muzzling your children. The psychological damage you're doing to them is horrible.”

    Zapata claimed six friends of his that were veterans who lost their jobs, killed themselves due to what has been going on.

    He quickly turned the criticism political, saying Shasta County was supposed to be “red country” and not “blue country.”

  • LORRAINE KELLY SLAMS KATE GARRAWAY'S TROLLS

    Lorraine Kelly has stood up for her TV presenter pal after she claimed she had been trolled.

    Writing in The Sun, she said: “I’ve watched as people cared for the sick and mourned their dead, and at times, like many of you, I’ve been overwhelmed by dread.

    “Then I look at my friend and colleague Kate Garraway, who has had to bear the burden of her husband Derek being ambushed by Covid-19 in April.

    “Kate has been extraordinary, which is why I am furious with those who have criticised her for returning

    to work, when they have absolutely no idea of what she has been going through. 

    “She has decided to step back from GMB for a while to concentrate on Derek and their children and those who have criticised her should be ashamed of themselves for making things even more difficult for the whole family. 

    “Derek may now be free of the virus but the after-effects have been catastrophic.

    “The poor man has been in an induced coma, and although now more aware of his surroundings, he is still extremely ill.

    “Kate’s mantra “where there is life, there’s hope”, has kept her going, and I reckon on some level Derek is aware of how much she and their children, Darcy, 14, and 11-year-old Billy are willing him to make a recovery.”

  • DRIVING TEST WEBSITE CRASHES AS LEARNERS GET BACK ON THE ROAD

    The website where learner drivers can book their driving tests has crashed on the first day it reopened after the coronavirus outbreak.

    Hundreds of people who have tried to book a test on the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) this morning said they had difficulty getting on to the website.

    It comes after the government suspended driving tests on March 20 as the UK was gripped by the pandemic.

    Today, August 21, was the first time that learners could book a test after lockdown.

    Those who had their driving tests booked and then cancelled were allowed to rebook them from July 25 to help with the backlog.

    The theory tests resumed on July 4.

    But some learners said they had been trying to book tests for three or four hours.

    They described the website crashing as “a joke” and they had been left “livid”.

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